Funny Girls of Fertility

Lessons Learned

Sharon

I know I'm extremely cynical.  I never believed in all that "you live and you learn, everything happens for a reason" bullshit.  All the cliché things that I thought people said just to make themselves feel better.  

I'm 32 years old and I've suffered from discontentment my entire life. My childhood was less than ideal.  My Mom is kind of a looney toon (and by kind of, I mean a major loon).  My parents were divorced when I was 5 or 6.  I went through multiple Step-Dads, and a lot of time where my Mother was less than Motherly (that's being really kind to her).  She never hugged me, never said she was proud of me, for sure never said she loved me.  Currently I haven't heard from my mom in two years.  I learned to accept that I'm not one of those people who will ever have an awesome Mother/Daughter relationship.  I probably won't ever have a relationship with her at all to be honest.

I think through my experiences I've become hard.  How I grew up, I always felt like I had to prove myself.   I wanted to be the best at everything, and always wanted more.  I needed a vacation every 3 months.  I had to have a monthly goal be it; a half-marathon, another degree, going to Haiti on my medical mission trip.  I pushed myself to a crazy point and whenever I reached the goal I set, I still wasn't happy.

Then comes ol' Mitchy boy and Nacho Twat.  When I met Mitch (the country singer; for those of y'all not up to speed go back about 3 blogs) I was SO excited.  I mean how fun is it to travel along on the Garth Brooks World Tour.  I thought this was it, this was what was FINALLY going to make me happy.

He broke my heart.  (Shattered it; would probably be more accurate.)  Shit just wasn't meant to work out for me.  I wasn't happy before Mitch, I wasn't happy with him, and post-Nacho I thought I might be one of those people who will just never be happy.

A few days after #NachoTwat2017, I went for a run.  I live in a beautiful city called The Woodlands.  It's like living in the damn enchanted forest where squirrels are high-fiving and birds are singing songs on your shoulder.  It's a Disney movie just north of Houston.  Any who... I went for a run and I was going through this break in the trees where the sun was shining through, and I had the BIGGEST smile on my face like a damn idiot.  Smiling at the trees.  For the first time in 32 years I realized I was TRULY content.

I wasn't beating myself up for not breaking a 9-minute mile.  I wasn't worried about if Mitch was going to reach out to me (obviously burnt that bridge, thank God).  I wasn't worried about when my mother was going to actually act like an adult.  I wasn't worried about when my next vacation was or what my next goal was.  I was happy being me; running a super slow mile in 500-degree humid ass Houston.

Every day since then I've woken up happy as a clam.  I notice everything now, I'm so present in the moment.  If it weren't for Mitch and Nacho I would NEVER be here.  So although he broke my heart, although I thought I would NEVER get over him, although my life went from a different city every weekend to never leaving The Woodlands, I'm content.

Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn't think we needed to know.  My lesson was contentment.

I know infertility is different, but I also know that through the struggles you become stronger.  Through the loss you learn to appreciate more. You can say I'm full of shit because a month ago I would have agreed with you, but once you get to that moment where everything in your life finally adds up, you'll look back and say, "By golly, that Bitch had a point." :)

Ending to Begin

Sharon

Well as the world knows, my relationship came to a rough end recently.  

In December we had taken a "break", but he told me he wanted me to wait because once he got his shit together (baby mama aka #Nachotwat) we would work everything out.  If you are an avid reader of my blog you know I truly did believe this, I would have waited however long it took.  I wanted it more than anything.  That's sad to admit knowing how this all ended, but it's the truth.  No matter how horrible he was to me (and trust me, he was horrible) I still wanted it to work.  He made me feel so unworthy, that sticking through this was my way of proving to him that I was way more badass than he gave me credit for.  

I'm into numerology and stuff that maybe not everyone is into.  Before I went to Kansas City I saw the number "999" everywhere.  I couldn't shake it.  I looked it up because obviously something was going on.  I read that 999 meant, "a certain aspect of your life is about to come to a close".  I started to pretend like I didn't see it, I was scared.  I didn't know what the shit was going to happen if this ended.   I went to every city Garth has toured in since July 2016 (which is a lot, my United points are impressive).  I couldn't imagine my life going from a busy travel schedule to NOTHING.  

Obviously, KC ended disastrously.  

My friends that know me well, know how tightly I hung onto this "relationship".  They probably thought I was nuts because they knew how shitty he was to me, yet I clung on like this guy was a damn gem.  "Make believe Mitch" was 1 in a million to me, real Mitch is a fucking dime a douche-al dozen.  Not sure if douche-al is a word, but I'm running with it.  

So here I was with nothing really planned for my future.  I had just lost this person who was a huge part of my life, and I didn't know what I was going to do (I was a lost soul).

Terrified of what my next step was, I got my shit together and everything started going right.  

Some of Mitch's ex-girlfriends (and friends) reached out to me to confirm they lived through the same exact manipulation and straight horribleness that I did. 

 #NachoTwat was a damn hit and a half.  

The boys started blowing my phone up like it always should have been blown up (kidding).

I became a member at an awesome golf course.

 I was accepted into the University of Texas for graduate school (Hello Nurse Practitioner).  This is an even bigger bonus because when I told Shit-bag that I was applying his response was super insecure, he wasn't happy that I was now going to have 3 college degrees and might be "too fancy" for him.  Boy bye.

What I realized is that every ending is really just a new beginning.  I didn't believe that when I was in the thick of it.  When I was SO down I couldn't see that I would eventually have a happy ending, in time things will work themselves out, and I would end up exactly where I'm meant to.

 Just like when dealing with the ups and downs of infertility.  When you get a negative beta or bad news, it may feel endless.   It's dark as all get out, and you can't see the f'ing light.  I've been there.  Trust me, it's scary not knowing which direction your life is going.  It's even scarier thinking that what you want most in life may not happen.  

When I let go of the direction I "thought" my life should go is when everything went right.  When you feel fucking HOPELESS, I mean to the point where you can't even enjoy jamming to The Biebs on a sunny day hopeless, know that it won't be like that forever. 

Life works out in funny ways.  I don't entirely know where I'm going to end up, but what I do know is I got out of a really bad situation, and I am genuinely happy now.  It's refreshing y'all. 

Consumption

Sharon

I kind of touched on this in my last blog, about how you can get so consumed with something in your life that you can't think about anything else.  Obviously mine was (very unfortunately) a country artist.  Puke.

Ever since that infamous Kansas City weekend, I feel like a different person.  I don't think I was really happy for the last 10 plus months. I was trying to force something that I knew all along wasn't right for me.  There is no way I could have lived that lifestyle.  The constant traveling, and the barrage of girls that I'm sure this douche loved behind my back.  It just wasn't for me.  I was SO consumed by it all that I didn't even think of myself.  I lost me in all this mess.

I know infertility is all encompassing as well.  I mean I guess it's good for me because you read my blog :)   But do you ever feel like you get lost in it too!?!  Like the only thing you can talk to your friends about is your fertility struggle. Through my career and personally through friends/family that have been through fertility treatments I know that's how they were living; eat, breathe, and sleep fertility. 

Now that we have made it through one of the worst days of the year for those dealing with infertility (Mother's Day), and I'm going on two weeks free of #nachotwat 2017, maybe we should look at it like a fresh start.  For those of you who have lost yourself in the constant Googling, the Instagram hashtag searches from hell, the message boards that I don't even mess with, maybe just take a few days and free yourself from it.  

When you are consumed with something other parts of your life suffer.  Hell, I don't even know how I still have friends after this last year.  I managed to keep up with my blog because I had so many damn emotions inside me that I had to get them out through writing, so I guess that's one positive that came from my situation.   When you do get to that positive pregnancy test or to the point where you are done trying, I don't want you to live with the same regrets I'm living with right now.  Don't look back and think, "why did I have NO life besides dealing with infertility."  

If I put as much energy into something positive as I did into him, I'd probably be like Gandhi right now.  Maybe far-fetched, but you get the point.  

"What consumes your mind controls your life."

Seeing the silver lining of my shit situation, my eyes have definitely been opened to maintain better balance in life!

Behind the Scenes

Sharon

You know when you get so consumed by something that you can't even think about anything else?  Be it fertility treatments, a relationship, a job, whatever your vice is.

 I was there.  Complete consumption.  I didn't think of much other than my relationship.  It started last July, and it seemed magical.  He's a country artist (I don't want to say his name because he doesn't deserve to be Googled) who was opening for my FAVORITE country artist of all time (which is how we met).  When he came out on stage I turned to my friends and said, “this is my guy.”  I never knew that statement would actually be (somewhat) true.

He wooed the shit out of me.  Dark hair, dark eyes, extremely charming, hilarious, with an amazing (yet sociopathic) voice.  I was completely blinded by this guy.  He told me his home situation which was that he had a child, but he and the mother weren't together anymore.  He still supported her because that was the "right thing" to do.

I was like, "wow, what a stand up guy."  He isn't married, they hadn't dated for long, and he isn't running away like a typical douche musician.  We started talking (long distance of course) and from there I went to every city he was touring in.  I did everything for him.  I thought this was IT for me.  I finally found my happy ending, and what a mother F'ing magical unicorn ending this is, right?  

Wrong.  Very, very wrong.

After a few months the image of who I thought he was started to fade into the person he actually is. It was awful.  I was manipulated, I was controlled.  I'm a strong-willed, stubborn, independent individual.. by the end of all this I had zero self-worth.  I didn't even recognize myself anymore.  I was told what to wear, how to talk, it was nuts, but he said he only did it because he cared about me and I had never been cared about like I was now (can we say manipulative? But I bought it, he’s good people).  Before July if someone would have told me what to do they would have been kicked in the nuts, but for some reason my logical, reasonable, educated brain went out the window. I can probably tell you why, I got sucked into the dream.

Shit hit the fan when I went to visit him in Kansas City last weekend.  Nothing he was saying made sense to me.  I decided to get in touch with his baby mama because;

  1. I've been cheated on a time or two
  2. I wanted the truth for myself
  3. I knew reaching out to her would put the last nail in my coffin.  I knew he would HATE me if I did this, and I know he is SO good at manipulating people that I could have easily been sucked back in by him.

I bet you can guess how this all ended.  Everything was a lie (and I am for sure not the only person he had been lying to).  He actually didn't break up with this girl when he said. How naive am I?!

I thought she would appreciate me calling, being honest.  Trust me it is NOT easy putting yourself in this kind of situation.  I WAS LIED TO, yet I felt the need to be honest with someone I didn't owe shit to.  

As nervous as I was to do it, I called her.  The conversation went HORRIBLY.  I think I was called "fucking stupid" about 573 times in a 22-minute conversation.  This girl was a real gem, y'all.  I like to refer to her as Nacho Twat because she sounded like she was eating nachos when talking, and she's a twat hence Nacho Twat.  She hated me.  She didn't believe me.  I was coming from a good place, girl to girl I was trying to look out for her.  She tried to convince me I was a bad person which obviously is the furthest thing from the truth.  Let me reiterate I WAS LIED TO AS WELL.  I was manipulated just as much as she had been over the course of this “relationship”! (I use that term lightly because I was obviously the only one taking it seriously.)

She gave him an ultimatum that he wasn't allowed to talk to me anymore or she would take his son and run (real mature of her).  I had zero intentions of ever talking to this douche again (remember that last nail I put in MY own damn coffin).  She didn’t stop there, she also let me know I was never to contact him again.  Okay Kim Jong-un, I'm totally going to listen to you.  I'm an adult and make my own decisions, and if I had to choose between talking to this 130lb country douche or removing all my own teeth with a dirty pocket knife therefore having to live off Suja juice for the rest of my life, you bet your ass I'm buying stock in Suja.

For the last 10 months, my feelings and blogs have been tied to him in some way or another.  I was so hopeful.  I would have done anything for him.  He knew that, and he used me.  That's a hard and sad admission.  JT said it best, “You get the air out my lungs whenever you need it.  And you take the blade right out my heart just so you can watch me bleed.”  I probably need a lung transplant and most definitely a blood transfusion after this F’er.

I have to live with the fact I gave so much to someone who never cared about me.  I have to live with the fact that I reached out to Nacho Twat, and she tried to turn this on me.

I shouldn't have gotten so wrapped up in something.  I shouldn't have let anything consume me as much as I let him, and this magical country lifestyle.  (Which is horrible, and completely not glamorous.)  

Bad shit happens all the time.  Bad stuff happens to good people.  I think in every bad situation you can find some kind of lesson.   I might still be searching for my lesson in all this, but I can leave the situation with some of my dignity while he has to go on in life being a complete piece of shit.  In that sense, I win.  Sadly, no more dramatic relationship post that I somehow tie to infertility.  This was my ending, and I'm okay with that.  To happier times and hopefully a lot of positive endings in the fertility world :) 

It's Just a Wave

Sharon

Infertility is like riding a crazy emotional wave all on its own, let alone trying to maintain a healthy relationship in the thick of it.

A while back an older version of Ken and Barbie became patients.  They looked like the All-American, happily married couple on fertility pamphlets.  He came to every appointment with her, held her hand during each visit.  He seemed interested in every detail of her treatment cycle.  They seemed genuinely happy, and very supportive of one another.

Ken and Barbie were patients for a good while before she became pregnant.  Their over the moon excitement was short-lived.  After hearing the heartbeat at their 7-week appointment, the 8-week ultrasound showed no growth and the heartbeat had stopped.  

Understandably, they decided to take a little break after the miscarriage.  She contacted us a few months later.  I assumed the call was to let us know they were ready to try again, but unfortunately they were in the process of divorcing.

What a Debbie Downer story, right?  Who am I?

My point is that even though they looked like the epitome of the perfect couple, we didn't see what was going on behind closed doors.  We didn’t see how heavily the burden of infertility was weighing on their relationship.

I've been back on a John Mayer kick since his new album came out and there’s a song called, "Emoji of a Wave".  I find it relatable to my situation as well as couples dealing with fertility issues.  

My relationship is ummm.... ?!  I don't really know how you would describe it because honestly it’s complicated.  I guess I love a good adventure.  But the song says;

Oh honey 

Oh honey

It's just a wave

It's just a wave

And I know

That when it comes

I just hold on

I just hold on 

I feel like what I’m going through is temporary.  It’s just a wave.  It isn’t going to be like this forever (God help me).   Maybe this is a test of my loyalty, my patience, seeing if I am tough enough to handle it all in the long haul.  If we can make it through this, there is no doubt that we could make it through whatever life decides to throw at us next.

My wave might sound like a pleasant surf down the shores of Maui, while the infertility wave may feel more like a tsunami.

First of all being on all that hormonal medication probably isn’t going to make anyone feel too sunshiny and cuddly.   The constant appointments, the financial stress, the disappointment when it doesn’t work out.  A big one, the decision to keep going after so many failed attempts or calling it quits. Making decisions that will impact the rest of your life is kind of a big deal, and can be a huge stressor on even the best relationships.

(I also want to add a side note that if you are on social media looking at all these couples seemingly going through infertility with ease, maybe they are or maybe they're completely full of shit and you only are seeing the highlight reel.   Good for those couples who don't skip a beat through infertility.  I know not everyone handles it with ease. Trust me I’ve witnessed some awkward interactions and plenty of snippiness and arguments even over small things like scheduling appointments.)

My advice is listen to John Mayer, pretty sure that will make everything better.  

But real advice; communicate, don’t place blame, take ownership of your feelings, and try your damnedest not to take it out on each other.  Stressful times don't always bring out the best in us.

Just hold on.

Perseverance

Sharon

I went for a run the other day, and passed by a school that had a sign that displayed their character trait of the month, perseverance. It obviously struck something inside of me to finally write again.

I think if you chose a word best describing a character trait in women dealing with infertility, perseverance is the first word to pop into my head.  I mean just look at the definition....

Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

The amount of delays you see when dealing with infertility is about a mile long.  Waiting for your period, taking birth control, having a cyst that delays your cycle, your insurance denying meds, not responding to the meds, the dreaded two week wait, the list goes on and on, right?

Infertility is difficult in general.  First of all, no one in their right mind wants to deal with this shit.  It's for the birds.  Everyone wants that magical life where they do the nasty, and BOOM a baby appears. Not the difficulty of dealing with the side effects of hormonal meds, negative betas, financial issues, and ALL the unknown of when it's going to work out for you.

So let's lead this to my soap opera life because you knew I was going to go there.  I have zero idea how it feels to personally deal with infertility, but I try to empathize in the only way I know how which is in relation to my own life.  Here's a recap for the people who may have just jumped on reading my blog;

December was not my most favorite month.  I had to part ways with someone who makes me laugh constantly, and challenged me more than anyone has in my 32 years of living.   If you go back and read my blogs I'm sure they were super dramatic.  I think at one point I compared my situation to knowing what Jack felt like when he lost whatever that chicks name was on the Titanic.  ((I seriously make myself laugh more than y'all could possibly imagine.))

I'm in the same boat I've been in since December (still waiting).  It's a lonely ass boat, but I'm a good mother F'ing Captain. I've learned to persevere when things aren't looking too terribly sunshiny for me.  My medical mission trip to Haiti put everything in perspective for me, so I'm handling all my "problems" a little better than I previously did. I say "problems" loosely because trust me, I know my issues are small in the big scheme of things.

I've been through some difficult times in my life, and I always seem to come out stronger. Haiti is a great example.  I went in thinking I was going to leave the first day because I was terrified of being kidnapped or dying in a car accident (their traffic fatalities are outrageous).  But I lived, and the nights when I was sitting in the dark under my mosquito net with only my thoughts showed me that I'm actually tougher than I thought. 

It is hard waiting to see if this relationship is going to work out for me in the end (and I know a lot of people would probably choose not to wait), but I'm not about filling the lonely void with something mediocre when I've already found the best.  

This is the time when perseverance comes into play.  You have to realize the end goal of what you are working towards.  Obviously infertility has a few more obstacles, financial and physiological (kind of a big deal), but emotionally remember how important growing your family is to you.  I think David Sarnoff said it the best, "The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success." 

Endometriosis Awareness Month

Meg

Some women who are facing infertility may not be aware of endometriosis or may not carry any symptoms, but could still suffer in the future. No known cause or cure have been found either. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus and attaches to ovaries, fallopian tubes and the lining of your pelvis. The tissue grows thicker and becomes trapped and bleeds during menstrual cycles hence where the pain usually transpires.

My first notable experience dealing with what I think was an early stage of endometriosis was when I was 19 years old and my mom took me to urgent care because “a cyst had burst”. Fast forward nine years, I was getting ready for work and fell to the bathroom floor. Not to sound like an overly dramatic hormonal female, but I thought I was dying.  I didn’t know what was physically happening to my body. I eagerly tore off all my clothes to feel the cold tile [from the bathroom floor] on my stomach just hoping it could ease the pain. With the strength God gave me, I somehow managed to arrange my first ambulance ride to the ER for the incompetent doctor to perform zero tests and verbally instruct me to take Advil.

After finding a woman’s specialty clinic a year or so later, I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 29 years old. With each passing month, the pain kept worsening. I couldn’t get out of bed for 18-24 hours at a time. It took 2-3 days to recover after “a flare up”. The pain sensitivity was so bad, I couldn’t even talk without having to use my diaphragm and any small movement paralyzed me. You feel like you’re being stabbed over and over! For those who share my story can agree 100%. Many times, I genuinely wished I owned a small handgun to shoot myself in the foot just to divert the pain. The disease really started to affect my work/life balance too. I felt depressed, helpless, like it was never going to feel better. I had no answers. At times, I felt like when I tried to explain the pain to family and friends, even my doctor, I sounded crazy, dramatic, overly sensitive. Another recent time in ER, morphine and dopamine COMBINED couldn’t ease the pain but only made me feel dizzy and flustered. The endometrial cysts grew to 9cm and 7cm located on both ovaries…we called them “my twins”.  Unfortunately, they grew back successfully after my first laparoscopic surgery. During it all, I tried the Mirena IUD for about nine months to stop ovulation in hopes of the endometrial cysts shrinking but they kept increasing in size and the pain grew worse and worse.

After searching for an alternative to a second laparoscopic, my good friend, who was experiencing the same trauma, referred me to a doctor back in my hometown who helped pioneer the Lupron Depot shot back in the ‘80s [to treat endometriosis] and has sought amazing results for his patients. Lupron Depot shot [Leuprolide, pictured above] is a synthetic hormone released in the bloodstream (via alternating butt cheeks once a month), which reduces estrogen and shrinks the uterine tissue. It’s supposed to minimize the lesions and pain levels.

The known side effects: hot flashes, night sweats, chills, clammy skin, tiredness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, upset stomach, breast swelling, acne, increased facial hair growth, joint or muscle pain, insomnia, reduced sexual interest, vaginal discomfort, dizziness, weakness, skin redness/itching, memory loss… oh my gosh the list keeps going like on a Lyrica commercial.

I have been taking the Lupron shot (3.75mg) for 9 months now and the only three side effects that really stand out are: hot flashes, night sweats, and memory loss – I act like somewhat of a menopausal mess, BUT the pain has reduced by almost 90% because I’m not ovulating. If you read reviews online, they’ll scare you half to death.  Every woman’s body reacts differently just like with any injected hormone. Since the doctor deemed my case “severe”, I’m prescribed to the Lupron Depot for up to two years. He is staying optimistic it’ll bring me the best results. In the meantime, I’m not even sure I want to bear children. In fact, I’m not even sure I CAN have children. Just in case that time comes, I want to save all my delicate lady parts so I can ensure a shot at success.

If this is your first time reading about the disease, I hope this was helpful and hoping you may have found some answers. If you are suffering from endometriosis, I feel you. You have options though. It’s always good to get a second or even a third opinion because it’s a challenge to find a doctor who truly understands your condition. You want to feel confident that the doctor knows exactly how to treat the severity too. My advice is to research. It’s not curable but it’s manageable.  My hope is the more we talk about it, the more we share our stories, the more effort will be given to find a lifeline.

Sharon

Recently I've been thinking of how I handled things in the past, and how I want to change things moving forward. 

When my brother and his wife were going through IVF you would think they hit the jackpot having me around, right?!? (Kidding) But seriously, I wasn't supportive.  (This was before/during nursing school, and becoming an IVF nurse.)

I didn't know the hurt they felt every time they found out something was wrong with one of them; be it my brother's semen analysis, her endometriosis, or lack of viable eggs.  They were always hitting dead ends, but they tried effortlessly to find solutions.

Through their three IVF attempts they were unsuccessful.  I don't think once I ever told them I was thinking of them or I felt for them.  I don't remember really showing much of any support.  It's not because I was a huge asshole or lacked compassion it was because I had ZERO idea what they were feeling nor did I even know how to approach the subject.  

I think that's when you start feeling alone in the world of infertility.  Misunderstood like no one around you cares, but that's not always the case.  Not being able to understand the emotional turmoil that people dealing with infertility go through, it's really challenging to show concern.  I know because I've been there.   Trust me, my brother is hands down my favorite relative. (Sorry other family members that read my blog, but I'm honest and he is.)  In no way, shape, or form would I ever want to intentionally show a lack of compassion or concern for what he had to deal with, but I totally did.  

I pride myself on being able to empathize with people.  It's one thing about myself that I know I am good at (or at least I try really, really hard to be good at).

Can you imagine someone who isn't empathetic having to deal with a friend or family member dealing with infertility?  CLUELESS.  They don't know what to say or do or ask, shit they probably don't know anything. Just remember how you felt when you started your first IUI or IVF cycle, it's overwhelming.  

Now that my brother and wife have adopted the cutest baby, Olivia, I think the struggles that they went through are a distant memory.  It still weighs on me how much they went through with very little support from those around them, but if it wasn't for their struggle I probably would have never started my career as an IVF nurse.  It's easy when you are removed from a situation to realize how you should have handled things differently.  I've learned a lot, and I'm continuously striving to be better.

The moral of today's ramblings is this... people don't generally mean to be compassionless assholes, but they are.  It's probably due to their lack of understanding, so instead of thinking the worst, maybe think "this fool has zero idea what I'm dealing with and I'm going to (A.) educate them or (B.) understand that they might never know what it feels like to be in my situation."  

Meet Meg - The Adoption Story

Meg

If you saw my family members, you would agree I don’t look like ANY OF THE OTHERS. Unlike them, I don’t have double eyelids. If you don’t know what that means, Google it, it’s fascinating. 

My mother was physically unable to bear a second child after having my sister, so, my parents decided to adopt and they found…, me. I was flown from South Korea to Oklahoma. My sister was pre-school age when I was flown over and she told her classmates after our initial meeting at the airport, “I know where babies come from! You pick them up at the airport!”

Back in the ‘80s, the adoption agency they went through placed solely orphans from Korea. At the time, their records were “sealed for life” so we speculate my birth mother was most likely younger and not married. It’s often found if women in Korea have a baby out of wedlock and they keep the baby, their families disown them but if they give them up for adoption (or abort them), they remain in good grace with the family.  The name I was given was Kim Min Kyung. For 25 years, I thought my Korean first name was Kim. (Google that one too)

I imagine most women facing infertility have considered or will consider adopting. Now I understand the thought of adoption isn’t for everyone.  After my mom and dad brought me home at the ripe young age of four months, my mother’s good friend expressed to her, “I couldn’t love a child who isn’t my own. You have to be really special to be able to do that.” My mother replied, “There’s no difference. She’s still my baby.”  A mother’s love can be universal. Even though my mom didn’t birth me, she still gave me life - a beautiful life. Even as a child, I never knew the difference. I always felt loved. And if you’ve seen the recent movie, ‘Lion’, Nicole Kidman’s character depicts that special kind of love perfectly. It’s a chosen kind of love and that’s the best kind of love. 

So if you ever consider adopting, I hope you think of me -- the girl from Funny Girls who missed the chance to work in rice fields, but instead was given a second chance to grow up in Suburbia USA.

Misery Loves Company

Sharon

I'm a big believer in the fact that empathy can get you far in life.  I couldn't really understand why some people within the infertility community (on social media) would get upset or "unfriend" someone when they saw others get pregnant, same goal everyone in the community is working towards.  I mean I know misery loves company, but still.  I'm 100% a cheerleader.  I love watching others succeed, I've always been that way.... until now.

By no means do I downplay how much it hurts to deal with infertility, but I try to empathize in a way that I can pertaining to my own life.  Here goes it...

My friend was going through a similar situation as I am (WOOHOO, I had someone to suffer with me, right?).  She was in this weird transition phase of her relationship.  You know that "I need space" period, which is where I am living right now (#Sharonpartyof1).  Anyhow, it was nice to have someone to talk to so I didn't feel like I was completely alone during this waiting period.  Her situation wasn't even close to mine though.  He called her, text her, they spent time together.  My phone.. mother F'ing radio silence, crickets, nada, zero.. get the point?  My only company has been Netflix (on to season 4 of Sons of Anarchy, so got that going for me).

I never had these feelings of jealousy or envy over what others had, but it hit me and I wasn't a fan.  It's not that I wasn't happy for her, but it hurt because I was still alone.  The thought of "ummm why isn't this working out for me" was constantly on my mind.  What the shit am I doing wrong?!?! 

I talked myself off the ledge.  I'm not her.  My relationship is very different than hers.  I was an angry little shrew for a minute.  It's not my time for this to work (yet).  Just like the people you see having babies, getting positive betas, hell they might have waited 7 or 8 years to get to that point.  

Sometimes you just want to throw in the towel because you feel like it will NEVER be your time.  Trust me, I feel like I'm going to end up a cat lady, and I don't even like cats. Terrifying.

We had this fun Infertility chat on Instagram that my friend Caroline (TrustingInDueTime) host on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month.   The question I chose was, "what song gets you through tough times?"  Not going to lie, there were a lot of songs mentioned that I had never heard of.   This song called,  "Thy Will" kept popping up so I decided to listen to it.  It helped to remind me that my stuff will work out for me at the right time, even though right now it sucks some major cojones.

"Your plans are for me; goodness you have in store so thy will be done."

So a reminder (to really myself) is this, "Promise yourself today to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own." - Christian D. Larson 

 Because your time will come too, and you won't want to be celebrating alone.  Here's to success in fertility, business, relationships, life, or just being a cat lady :) 

Hope Haters

Sharon

I'm rarely at a loss for words, but it happened...

I was talking to a friend about some things that have been going on in my life recently.  If you read anything I write, you know I'm still going through somewhat of a valley.  I always try to stay optimistic though because where does having a shitty outlook get anyone?!

After telling her a little bit more about my current situation, she compared me to a patient who has just been diagnosed with cancer, but still thinks everything is going to be okay. (A wee bit of a dramatic comparison to describe my hopefulness, but alright.)

Okay so yeah, things might not be fabulous for me at the moment, but gosh dang it I'm a persistent one (that may be an understatement). The easiest thing to do when shit gets hard is to give up, that’s not my style.  If I gave up when things weren’t going exactly how I wanted them to, here are just a few things that wouldn't have happened for me;

I wouldn't have graduated from Oklahoma State.

I wouldn't have graduated from nursing school.

I wouldn’t have finished my first half marathon.

I wouldn't be a year into writing this blog.

I wouldn't have 6 infertility awareness shirts (still crazy, I originally ordered 10 of "The Acronym" shirt.  I have come a LONG way.)

When this conversation happened it reminded me of patients who have undergone an ungodly amount of fertility treatment cycles.   I know there are times when people may not understand why you keep going through this shit.  They know you're hurting, and know how many times it hasn't worked out for you, but you don't give up either.  They may think you're bat shit crazy too.  When people don't understand is when judgement jumps in.

If you aren't hopeful that one day whatever you're going through will work out, you might as well throw in the F’ing towel now because that Debbie Downer way of thinking is going to get you nowhere fast.

 I've had a MILLION signs (seriously, it's getting creepy) screaming at me that I'm on the right path.  Even though it is hard for me right now, I'm horrible at waiting, and I have my moments of frustration; I just have to keep on keeping on.   That's not delusion, that's hope.  

The day after this conversation, I was trolling along social media and saw this quote...

"Choosing to stay strong isn't fake, it's faith." - Whitney Capps.  That's when it all clicked for me.

To my friend I may be living in the land of the naive, but to me I'm keeping faith in the fact that my life will come full circle sooner or later (really hoping for sooner, oh sweet sweet patience).  I'm making a choice to remain hopeful because right now that's all I have to work with.  So if this helps someone who may feel like (or maybe even been told) they're crazy for continuing on their 32nd treatment cycle, see you in the loony bin because my hopefulness is right there with you!  

Everything Happens For A....

Sharon

This one is for you, Erin!

"Everything happens for a reason."

How many times have you heard this lovely platitude and thought "F off"?  

If you keep up with my blog you know my less than desirable time started in December.  You know how many times I heard, "Everything happens for a reason, Sharon"??  If I had $5 for every time I heard it I would have like a whopping $30, but still 6 times too many (math skills on point there, thanks Oklahoma State).  Luckily, I've been working on my sass so I was able to catch myself from saying something smart (or using my middle finger) and just smile and move on when I had to hear it.

Do I think stuff happens for a reason?  Yeah, of course I think there is a reason why things happen.  

There is a reason why a FET didn't work.  Maybe there was a little fluid in the lining?

There is a reason why you aren't getting pregnant naturally.  

Maybe it's timing.  

Maybe it's some crazy reason completely out of your control. (= ME.  And yes, I am still being impatient.)

Or maybe the reason is greater than anything we can understand, but will understand eventually.

You can obviously find a reason why something happened in whatever situation you're dealing with.

What I do know is when someone is grieving a loss or going through challenging times, they sure as hell don't want to hear those 5 words even if it may be the truth.

In the world of infertility, you probably hear it constantly.  Not being able to get pregnant naturally, a failed IVF, a cancelled FET, a miscarriage... I think it's hard for people who haven't gone through those situations to be able to articulate something they feel is enough to make you feel better, which is why you hear that mother F'ing saying.  Here are some things I would rather hear;

  1. I'm sorry you are dealing with this tough situation.  
  2. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I'm here for you
  3. (Crickets) because they are just freakin' listening

I know my friends that said, "Everything happens for a reason" didn't have bad intentions for me, but no one knows how I feel inside besides me.  (*Side note - I also have amazing friends who have listened to me for 2 months (God bless y'all), offered amazingly positive words of comfort, and have been nothing short of angelic.*)  I think when it comes down to it; if you don't understand what someone is dealing with, can't empathize, or lack compassion overall just lend an ear.  

Suppression is for the Birds

Sharon

Infertility is a big ball of suppression unless you are just one of those people who lets it all hang out (which isn't a lot of people).  I see a ton of patients suppressing their feelings because they feel alone or feel as though the people around them may not be able to empathize with what they are dealing with.

I draw what I write from random thoughts, what I'm currently feeling, or something I see on the interwebs.  This week I saw MULTIPLE post about holding back tears, and pretending to be okay.  I'm not okay with that (if you care about my opinion). 

I had a rough little go in December.  I didn't try to curtail my feelings or pretend like I didn't feel less than amazing. Those close to me know I was a hot mess (maybe still a partial hot mess), there was no hiding that.   I think we are all kind of in this mindset that if we act strong, if we are tough, if we don't let people see us at our lowest that we are fucking invincible.  Guess what, it ain't true (I know this from 31.5 years of experience before I embraced vulnerability).  I'm not saying that I think everyone should walk around like blubbering idiots having a pity party every 5 seconds, but I am saying that it's okay not being okay sometimes.  

Own your feelings when you are pissed off that your IVF cycle may not have gone your way.  If you are hating life because you just sold your left kidney to pay for your fertility treatment.  Embrace whatever you feel when the people around you are popping out babies every 10 seconds, and you can't see your silver lining.  

I've been told I suck at being vulnerable, but I'm working hard to get better at it each and every day.   I obviously put myself out there quite a bit.  It's scary writing my feelings for the world (or the 17 people that come to my website) to read, but I do it because I'm okay putting myself out there if it helps someone feel not so alone in the manure filled field they might be in right now.  

It doesn't make you weak or pathetic when you show real emotion. I think it shows strength more than anything.  I start to ramble when I'm passionate about something. I'm passionate about this, embrace your feelings instead of suppressing them. Don't hide and keep busy just to avoid feeling bad..it'll catch up with you eventually. 

Haiti

Sharon

I'm 32 years old and haven't done a tremendous amount outside my comfort zone.  I live a pretty decent life; some would say a dang good life. 2016 taught me quite a few lessons.  I've grown as a person not only from starting Funny Girls of Fertility, but also through people I've met that have challenged me to look a little deeper.

I started thinking what the heck can I do to help others and add more appreciation and joy to my life.  I chose to join an international medical relief clinic.  I will be saying goodbye to the comforts of Texas and adios-ing to Haiti in March.

Now while this may seem like a super exciting adventure to some, it scares the shit out of me.

First of all, I just had to sign my life away; if I die from an infectious disease, in transit, from an animal bite, or (insert some other crazy way of getting offed).  

Did I mention I live in my comfort bubble?!   I like my Subway and Chick-fil-a, clean water, Wi-Fi, hot showers, and a nice bed. It's easy to take our basic comforts for granted because it's what we're accustomed to.  I don't want to take anything for granted anymore.

Fundraising.  I was told that I'm prideful which I never realized, but I'm prideful as shit, y'all. I don't like asking for help, and I don't like people doing stuff for me.  It makes me extremely uncomfortable, but this experience requires fundraising.  My stubborn side just wants to pay for it myself, but that would be going against what I'm trying to do here.  So I'm swallowing my pride and putting myself out there to ask for help. 

Last but certainly not least.. I'm painfully shy.  I probably don't come across that way, but I'm kind of a mute around people I don't know.  Putting myself in a situation where I will know absolutely no one makes me want to run the opposite direction.

I don't think I could have chosen to do something more outside my comfort zone than this.  I'm a big believer in "if we aren't challenging ourselves, we aren't growing".   Just listing out the stuff that makes me anxious shows how much I can gain from this experience.

It's easy to get consumed with our day to day problems that we forget to look at the big picture of just how truly lucky we are.  Right now my biggest problem is something I have zero control over, while these kids in Haiti also have a problem that they have zero control over... they are malnourished and infected with parasites.  What an asshole I am, right?  That's the whole point.  If you are reading my blog I can tell you that you have a lot to be thankful for even though you may not feel like it; a computer, the internet, electricity, probably sippin' Starbucks or something fancy, contemplating what you're about to eat for lunch/dinner.  It's not about how big or horrible our problems are it's about putting them in perspective.

"If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success." - Mark Manson

The Fun of Uncertainty

Sharon

I DESPISE UNCERTAINTY.  I DESPISE UNCERTAINTY.  I DESPISE UNCERTAINTY.  

I am going through uncertainty HELL right now.  Flaming inferno of uncertainty.  One of probably the greatest friends in the history of friendship, Meg, sent me this quote the other day because she knows the struggle I'm dealing with.  It said....

"Trust the wait.  Embrace the uncertainty.  When nothing is certain, anything is possible."

She sent this to me because

A.) I'm impatient as shit

B.) Trusting is not my strong suit

C.) I DESPISE UNCERTAINTY (not sure if I mentioned that yet)

D.) To show me that if I do trust, wait, and embrace this uncertainty BS all my wildest dreams could come true

This reminds me of so many ladies dealing with infertility.  Infertility is uncertain.  There might not be anything more uncertain.  The only thing that you can count on when dealing with infertility is spending a shit ton of money (unless you live in Massachusetts or have amazing insurance) and being at your doctor's office A LOT. You're welcome.

I had a patient a while ago who asked if she didn't move after her transfer, didn't go back to work for 2 weeks, took her medication at the same time every day, would she get pregnant?    She was scared to death of it not working.  She was obviously reaching for some kind of hope from me.  Unfortunately, I gave her the best answer I could... Taking it easy is great, taking your medication at the same time every day is great, but nothing is guaranteed.  She's a smart cookie.  She knew I didn't know the answer, but she still wanted me to give her some kind of reassurance.

I think it's normal to want some reassurance when you aren't able to control a situation that is really close to your heart. You want someone to tell you it's going to be okay even if they have no freaking clue if that's the truth.  So while you may be in this period of uncertainty of when your positive beta will come, and I'm over here uncertain about where the heck my life is going let's trust the wait, embrace the uncertainty, and know that everything will work out with time.  

Discouragement

Sharon

The other day I was just feeling like crap, so I went to listen to an old friend's message about discouragement.  She's great by the way, Sarah at New Song Church in Oklahoma.    She said, "Discouragement is the dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distress of the future."

I think going through fertility treatments you for sure begin to feel discouraged with every little thing that goes wrong, and unfortunately things do go wrong.   You're probably already dissatisfied with past fertility treatments you've been through.   Maybe your first three Clomid cycles didn't work.  Maybe you thought IUI would work, and it failed.  You look back at the past and just think, "Why the F did it not happen for me?"  I do that to myself all the time.  I look back and think, "Why did I do that, why did I say that (major sufferer of word vomit)” I have to let go of the things I've been dissatisfied with in the past because I can't change it.  Accept it and move on.

Distaste for the present.  Maybe you aren't responding to meds like you thought.  Maybe you are tired of giving yourself damn injections.  Maybe you are just tired of dealing with all this BS during the holidays.  I'm not loving the present right now, but I sure as hell am trying.  You have to find joy in the little things when life is seriously sumo chopping you when you're down.

Distress for the future.  One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when dealing with infertility is continuing after failed cycles.  It's easy to feel distressed about what's to come when it's completely out of your control.  Maybe one of my biggest downfalls is wanting to control where my life is going.  I've realized lately (even more) that I have issues with just letting life happen.  I mean I preach this so often in my blog, but I sure as heck don't live that way.

Feeling discouraged is the worst.  It’s like you can't even see a glimmer of light at the end of the mother F'ing tunnel.  How do you fix it?  Well I'm working on that too.  Keeping faith that everything will work out (in time), knowing you're strong enough to handle whatever shit you're going through, and embracing the obstacles in life knowing that in the long run it's only going to make you better.  Also a good suggestion (even if you aren't religious) is go to New Song Church online and listen to Sarah.  It’s called Character Sketches Part 4 - The Dark Side of Discouragement - David

https://newsongpeople.com/media/

Expectations

Sharon

"Sometimes we create our own heartbreak through expectation."

Life lesson 128,928 for me.  Gosh dang it, life can disappoint you sometimes.   I see this kind of disappointment (due to expectations) a lot in people dealing with infertility.  Don't get me wrong I do shit rainbows 90% of the time. My expectations are extremely high because I think that's how it should be.  Does that lead to a lot of disappointment for me? Hell to the yes.  

The newbies to infertility set themselves up to be disappointed the most it seems.  I think a lot of people go in thinking "this is going to work for me the first try."  Great if it does, but that's not being terribly realistic (statistically speaking).  I am the furthest thing from a realist, so I get it.  I dream in Skittles, y'all.  I'm one of those weirdos that think some dark hair, browned eyed dreamy guy is going to come sweep me off my feet.  I'm going to live happily ever after while getting to play golf every day, travel the world, and eat an endless amount of red velvet bundt cakes without ever gaining an ounce (it's been a while since I've given a shout out to Nothin' Bundt Cakes).  Are those realistic expectations?  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We had a patient not too long ago that came in and wanted to try Clomid.  Even though she was told what the odds of getting pregnant the first cycle was, I think it went in one ear and out the other.  She believed that she was above the statistics and it was going to happen for her the first try.  Well let me tell you, it didn't work and she was greatly disappointed.  It was like someone kidnapped her puppy on Christmas.  This was her FIRST go round with fertility treatment, and the lowest intervention at that.  She called pretty angry wondering what the heck went wrong.   The reason she was this disappointed and distraught was because she set her expectations too high.  

I 100% can empathize with her because I am an eternal optimist.  The last two days have royally kicked my optimistic ass.   Life has not worked out as my brain has played it out.  Not even close.  I'm pissed off, I'm hurt, I'm sad.   I'm all these things because I set my expectations too high to be met.  If you've read my blog you know I've been disappointed before yet me and my unicorn just continue through life setting these unrealistic expectation, constantly crashing back down thanks to this little thing called gravity (aka real life).

Honestly, I think it’s great going into fertility treatments with a positive outlook, hoping for the best.  What I don't think is great is ignoring the possibility that shit can go wrong.  I personally know I need to find balance between my optimism and reality, setting my expectations at a place where I'm not settling but yet I'm also not going to end up ridiculously disappointed.  

National Adoption Awareness Month

Sharon

            Holy hell, I was almost late to the game with this blog.  How could I overlook National Adoption Awareness Month?!?! The answer is I couldn’t.  My entire reason for being where I am today is because of one of my favorite people in the world, who if you have followed along with my blog would know is my brother, Justin.

            A little recap for you slackers who don’t actually read my blog (kidding, I love y’all, boop).  My brother and his wife, Sam, tried to have a child naturally.  After getting frustrated when nothing happened, they sought the help of a fertility clinic.  Three failed IVF attempts later they decided maybe adoption would be the best option for them.   

            Adoption is work, y’all.  I didn’t even realize just how much goes into adopting a child.   After home studies, an Encyclopedia sized book of their day to day lives, health screens, videos, and a shit ton of money later they were in the game.

            This is where it kind of gets crazy.  They did a nation-wide adoption meaning that they could be given little notice, receive a call, and they would have to go live in whatever state the baby was born for at least 3 weeks until all the paperwork was finished.  Now anyone in their right mind knows how difficult this obviously would be to; A. Take off work B. Pack up your life, and go live in a different state until you are able to take home your child C. Pay to live somewhere else for a month after already having to sell your left kidney to pay for all the other adoption fees.

           Well they got the call and guess where their little bundle of joy was going to be born….  About 100 miles from my dang house.  Out of 48 possible states (yes, I know there are 50 states in the US, but the nation-wide option is really a liar and only covers 48 states) the birth parents were THAT close to me.  I know they had a lot of trepidations about the parents changing their mind.  They weren’t teenagers, they had jobs, and they were looking to get married in the near future.  I think it’s pretty normal to think that these stable, capable adults may change their minds once this sweet baby made her appearance in the world.  ((This is seriously the super condensed story of their adoption.))  

            Everything ended up working out perfectly, and what an incredible blessing she has been to our family.  Unfortunately, they live a world away (ok maybe a few states, but for dramatic flair I’m sticking with it) so I don’t get to see her often, but they were able to stay with me until the paperwork was completed.

            I know IVF was hard for my brother and his wife, and the process of adoption wasn’t easy on them either. The birth parents gave my family a gift that is immeasurable.  I mean come on now, how cute is this baby?!

           If you want to get further into this story, go creep on my brother @dad_in_waiting on Instagram.  He probably should change his damn name because he isn’t waiting anymore!!! 

 

34th Street

Sharon
Because who doesn't love a good ol' Christmas miracle?  This patient really restored my faith in the fact that even when things aren't looking so hot, something positive can still prevail..... We had a patient who recently called and told us that she had gotten an at home positive.  She had previously experienced quite a few miscarriages, and wanted us to monitor her more closely than a "normal" pregnancy.  She came in for her first blood work, and her HCG was extremely low (like less than 10).  After getting dates from her last cycle we figured it wasn't looking good.  She came in a few days later, and the rise was complete crap.  We told her signs to look for in an ectopic pregnancy, and continued to monitor her through blood work.     After monitoring her levels for a couple weeks the doctor brought her in for her first ultrasound to see if there was even anything to see!  When she came for her appointment, we could see a tiny, tiny little spot in her uterus, and I mean TINY.  Her HCG level still wasn't rising appropriately, and her progesterone level was complete shit.  When you see this stuff every single day, you just kind of know when it isn't going to work. Even if it wasn't an ideal level, she still had a level, and we knew it was an IUP (even though it was microscopic) so we kept on supplementing her with medication.  The next week she came back in for blood work and ultrasound.  Her levels were still below par, and her ultrasound looked awful.  Yet we didn't give up, and she was still motivated to keep on truckin'.   She came in a week later (yeah, I know by this point you think we would have an 8-week old fetus in there) the sac was a little bit bigger, and if you squinted your eyes and looked 90 degrees to the left you could see what kind of looked like a fetal pole that had the tiniest little flicker.  At this point, if you're thinking what the shit, you're not alone.   Her progesterone and estrogen were super crappy this whole time (for those of you who are always worrying about your numbers, keep on reading).   The next week we were approaching what should have been about 10 weeks from her LMP. What do you know, there was an actual fetus (that somehow grew at an astronomical rate), a great heart rate, and her labs came back with her progesterone, estrogen, and HCG levels off the charts.  I think her baby was saying, "I have a mother F'ing purpose in this world." Obstacles are put in our way to see if what we want is worth fighting for (and boy did this mom keep fighting).  Now she is off to her OB, like we didn't just go through the most exhausting 12 plus weeks EVER. There are a few things in life I feel this way about currently. When everything is going against me, when it seems like nothing can go right, I just dig a little deeper.  The path is already set for me, and I just have to trust that the obstacles in my way are here to help me continue to grow into a compassionate, understanding, patient person (because Lord knows I am still in need of some damn patience). 

Because who doesn't love a good ol' Christmas miracle?  This patient really restored my faith in the fact that even when things aren't looking so hot, something positive can still prevail.....

We had a patient who recently called and told us that she had gotten an at home positive.  She had previously experienced quite a few miscarriages, and wanted us to monitor her more closely than a "normal" pregnancy.  She came in for her first blood work, and her HCG was extremely low (like less than 10).  After getting dates from her last cycle we figured it wasn't looking good.  She came in a few days later, and the rise was complete crap.  We told her signs to look for in an ectopic pregnancy, and continued to monitor her through blood work.  

  After monitoring her levels for a couple weeks the doctor brought her in for her first ultrasound to see if there was even anything to see!  When she came for her appointment, we could see a tiny, tiny little spot in her uterus, and I mean TINY.  Her HCG level still wasn't rising appropriately, and her progesterone level was complete shit.  When you see this stuff every single day, you just kind of know when it isn't going to work.

Even if it wasn't an ideal level, she still had a level, and we knew it was an IUP (even though it was microscopic) so we kept on supplementing her with medication.  The next week she came back in for blood work and ultrasound.  Her levels were still below par, and her ultrasound looked awful.  Yet we didn't give up, and she was still motivated to keep on truckin'.

  She came in a week later (yeah, I know by this point you think we would have an 8-week old fetus in there) the sac was a little bit bigger, and if you squinted your eyes and looked 90 degrees to the left you could see what kind of looked like a fetal pole that had the tiniest little flicker.  At this point, if you're thinking what the shit, you're not alone.   Her progesterone and estrogen were super crappy this whole time (for those of you who are always worrying about your numbers, keep on reading).  

The next week we were approaching what should have been about 10 weeks from her LMP. What do you know, there was an actual fetus (that somehow grew at an astronomical rate), a great heart rate, and her labs came back with her progesterone, estrogen, and HCG levels off the charts.  I think her baby was saying, "I have a mother F'ing purpose in this world."

Obstacles are put in our way to see if what we want is worth fighting for (and boy did this mom keep fighting).  Now she is off to her OB, like we didn't just go through the most exhausting 12 plus weeks EVER.

There are a few things in life I feel this way about currently. When everything is going against me, when it seems like nothing can go right, I just dig a little deeper.  The path is already set for me, and I just have to trust that the obstacles in my way are here to help me continue to grow into a compassionate, understanding, patient person (because Lord knows I am still in need of some damn patience). 

Picture Perfect

Sharon

This one is going to hurt a little bit y'all, but I think it's time.

Something I've realized more often than not is how embarrassed a lot of women are for having to go through fertility treatments.  I can't count how many people have told me they don't confide in anyone about what they are dealing with.  Seeing friends, family members, coworkers getting pregnant in a hot second knowing that they have struggled for a while is hard, but putting on a happy face like it doesn't bother you is even more of a challenge.

I've been one of those people to put on a happy face to keep up my picture perfect image.  I can tell you, I'm full of shit.  Someone I've grown very close to has taught me a lot about being vulnerable, and this is going to push me to my limits.  Here we go....

I was 21 when I graduated from Oklahoma State (Go Pokes), and got my first job in the oil industry.  I met someone at work who I ended up marrying a couple of years later.  I had this image in my head of just how my life was going to work out.  I thought everything was perfect; we were great friends (we still are friends), we traveled, we had fun.  My happily ever after came to a f'ing dead end when he became unfaithful.  The shame I felt was unfathomable.  I wanted to keep us in a bubble, I didn't want anyone to know what had happened.  I didn't want anyone to think he was a bad person (because he isn't, stupid 100%, but not a bad person).  I kept a happy face for a while even though I was suffering miserably on the inside.  I didn't want to be a failure, and I was ashamed that I couldn't make it work.  I was another dang statistic.  If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would see myself where I am today I would 100% say, not a chance.  I wanted to be married once, and that one time was supposed to be forever.  Well you know what, life sure as hell doesn't work out exactly how you want.

Four years later here I am.  I'm different now then I was.  My exterior is a little tougher, but my insides are still all sensitive.  I open up much slower.  I am way more cautious than I use to be.  The positive is I'm not ashamed anymore (note that it took me about 3.5 years to get to this point).  I'm not afraid for people to know what happened to me or judge my situation.  People make mistakes, shit happens.  This was meant to happen to me for a reason that is way beyond me, and I'm okay.  I'm actually better than okay.  That nightmare that I went through got me to where I am today.  I can say I am genuinely happy.   I feel like I'm finally exactly where I'm supposed to be, and that is a pretty freaking amazing feeling.

Enough of my sob story and back to how this relates to what I see every day.  I know it's not fun putting your business out there, but it's also not fun faking the funk.  Trust me, I've gone back and forth about sharing what I've been through, but I grew a pair and did it.  Infertility is not anything to be ashamed of, it's not like you woke up and chose this life because no one in their right mind would go through that shit.  I guess my point is you never know who you could help by sharing your story, and for those of you who bravely put it out there, kudos to y'all.